Public Administration Mains 2017 : Model Question and Answer - 32

Public Administration Mains 2017 : Model Question and Answer

(Public Administration Paper I / Chapter: Administrative Law)

(Current Based) Question : Dicey' s view on administrative law have been overly criticized. Comment. (30 Marks/400 Words)

Model Answer :

Dicey’s views on administrative law drew criticism on following grounds:

1. Dicey was of the view that French Droit Administration gave special protection to States and Officials, in their dealing with citizens, which is said to be an inference from composition of administrative courts. The cases with State or State Officials as party are tried by administrative courts consisting of state officials instead of judges. Dicey claimed that these courts were not as independent as civil courts and were biased towards state and state’s officials against citizens. However, the administrative courts had been born during French revolutionary era. Under the influence of theory of separation of powers, these courts evolved as an independent units and developed a jurisdiction meant for protection of liberty of citizens instead of menace to it.

2. Similarly, Dicey was not quite correct about rule of law in England. As Robson says, there was always a special body if law applicable to administrative authorities only, in England, that gave them special rights. Until the passing of Crowns Proceedings Act 1947, the crown was immune from liability in torts that too incomplete. Statutes like Limitation Act conferred on executives performance of positive duties by public authorities.

3. Dicey’s opinion that Constitution of England was a result of Citizen’s right was also not quite correct as Constitution was also not quite correct as Constitution was majorly found on customs, traditions and statutory enactments.

There is a system of administrative law in every country in the same way as there is a system of constitutional law. Where is public administration , there must be also administrative law. In some other countries legal study and analysis may not have advanced sufficiently far to differentiate it from the rest of prevailing law, but that scarcely be a ground for denying its existence. Administrative law as regulating the constitution, functions ,procedure and powers of administrative authorities is a universal phenomenon. It is part of the public law of the country and creates a pattern of relationships between the public authorities and the citizens which is different in many ways from the pattern of legal relationships between citizen and citizen. So critics of Dicey were not quite correct in their estimation and he does not deserve so much criticism. (Total Words- 375)

(Linkages : Dicey and Administrative Law, French Revolution and Administrative Courts, Dicey and Rule of Law)

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